“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” – Ida B. Wells
In the late 1890s Ida B. Wells went on a crusade against lynchings as an investigative journalist. This week she received a special posthumous pulitzer citation for her “outstanding and courageous reporting.”
The granddaughter of the civil rights icon, Michelle Duster, took to Twitter to express her appreciation of the award saying, “What an amazing honor for my great-grandmother [Ida B. Wells] to be recognized by Pulitzer Prizers almost 90 years after she gained her wings! Her life is a testament to the importance of [truth telling], even in the face of danger. May she continue to be an inspiration!”
Another truth-teller, Nikole Hannah-Jones, was also awarded a Pulitzer for Commentary for her opening essay on the 1619 project. She is also the co-founder of the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. An organization “with a mission of increasing the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting.”
Jones shared what it meant to receive the Pulitzer alongside the woman who blazed the trail for the work she continues today.
“Ida B. Wells & I were awarded the Pulitzer on the same day. How can I not believe that the ancestors intervened on this moment? I’ll say more later. For now I will sit in the truth of how she, how they, cleared a path for me, how they endured so that I & the #1619Project could be,” she tweeted.
Recipients receive $50,000 in support of their work. Wells’ award will be donated in support of her mission.
This year’s Pulitzer Prizer winners also include author Colson Whitehead who received his second Pulitzer for fiction. He is only the fourth person to be awarded twice.
Congratulations to this year’s winners.